A total of 105 penguin burrows were found during a survey of kororā / little penguin in June this year. The survey was carried out in various locations spanning 15-20km of Aotea / Great Barrier’s coastline, funded by the local board.
Ecologist Joanna Sim and her detector dogs completed the survey over ten days, covering Blind Bay, Tryphena Point, Mulberry Grove School area, Okupu Wharf, Awana, Millers Point, Puriri Bay, Glenfern, Karaka Bay and South Medlands.
“While this isn’t a comprehensive survey of the island, it certainly gives an indication of penguin densities and activity in the areas surveyed,” says Joanna.
All areas except Awana had definite active penguin burrows, with birds seen in many of these. At times the dogs indicated that additional burrows were likely, but dangerous or unstable ground prevented further investigation.
The burrows were found in all sorts of places, from artificial rock wall to roots and tree stumps. For a more detailed version of events, find the survey report which has been uploaded to Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board’s reports page here.
During her time on the motu, Joanna was also able to meet pupils from Mulberry Grove School and Okiwi School to talk about kororā, pāteke / brown teal, and using the dogs to find the birds safely.
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